Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company PJSC (EITC) has been awarded a full telecoms licence in the UAE, enabling it to operate and manage a fixed line and mobile network in competition with Etisalat. Under the terms of the licence, which cost AED124.5 million (USD33.9 million), EITC will also be able to offer international telecoms and internet services in the future, although it must first get approval from the regulator. The licence award will pave the way for the full liberalisation of the market by 2015. Etisalat, which was previously the country’s sole fixed line and mobile operator, is set to have its licence renewed by the end of this month in preparation for the entrance of EITC. At the end of 2004 there were 1.19 million fixed line subscribers in the country, while mobile customers numbered 4.35 million at the end of September 2005.